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Flotilla Emergency Protest at Conti and N. Peters

June 5th, 2010

The sun was out and I had the day off and my old friend S. was in town for a visit and I’ve got extra bikes–perfection. I took the Surly and he took the Specialized, and we headed out on a tour of my favorite asphalt in New Orleans: Simon Bolivar, the new and improved Loyola, Canal, Chartres, those three blocks of Magazine by the WWII museum, and Constance. We do have some good streets in town–you just have to ride around until you find them (or check out the fantastic work by NOLACycle–thanks for the maps!). On our way we made some stops, the first for the Flotilla Emergency Protest in support of Palestine. It was a small, passionate group, and we marched along N. Peters through Jackson Square and back to this small park at Conti. Speakers talked about the problem of state violence, the importance of boycotts, and the deadly effects of the embargo. A Jewish woman refused the violence done in her name, and a New Orleanian made connections between the bulldozers threatening his home after Katrina and the ones threatening homes in Palestine. I snapped this picture of people waving flags and thought about how visual these things are, how this shot is inevitable at a protest like this one–the men standing over the crowd, the oversized flag. It’s an image that’s a trope, and that’s because it works. Did this rally end the violence in the Middle East? Of course not. It brought together like-minded folks to think out loud about really difficult, devastating issues. S. and I bookended the day with a brief stop at another protest, this one about the oil spill. Different crowd, but the same sense of community and outrage on another hot and humid Saturday in a city with all manner of reasons to be enraged.

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